Gambia’s Foreign Minister and a senior leader in the ruling coalition government, Ousainou Darboe said the Barrow administration will not allow nepotism to flourish.
Darboe said the era of nepotism and bias in The Gambia is over but concerns remain that the practice is more prevalent today than it has ever been in more than half a decade.
In The Gambia, senior officials are legally barred from appointing their relatives but government sources are shedding new light on just how sharp a departure officials are from that rule.
“This government will not allow nepotism or bias. That will not happen here,” said Darboe, who was in an interview with Fatou Touray and Nyang Njie of the Kerr Fatou Show.
Some of Darboe’s colleagues, who were jailed with him threatened to go on a protest accusing the government of favoritism. Since their release, they said they were unable to meet Mr. Darboe and President Barrow.
According to them, they have not been helped by the government and their efforts to meet with their political comrades, who have been given top government jobs have been ignored.
But what kind of help do they need and will it be considered favoritism if they get help or nepotism if they get a job?
Despite the criticism levied against the government, the Barrow administration has been very passive with its response. Many want the State House to start firing officials implicated in corrupt practices but the government is avoiding wrongful termination.
Barrow had said severally that allegations of wrongdoing will have to be fully investigated and until such investigation is concluded, no one will be shown the exit door.
Several senior officials, including those working in the president’s office, are suspecting of using their power and influence to get the best possible opportunities for immediate family members and close relatives.
Nepotism and favoritism have been long practices in Gambia. But how exactly are these job-inheritance patterns perpetuated and when will it come to a stop?
According to an official at the Personnel Management Office, when you look carefully at many workplaces, investigators will find many relatives of senior officials.
With the culture deeply entrenched, the question is: Are the investigators independent and empowered enough do their job for the government to conquer nepotism and favoritism?